Catherine “Catie” Schneider – Class of 2006 • December 2017

I began at SMA almost as early as I can remember. Some of my earliest childhood memories took place in the SMA preschool, and I continued on at the school through eighth grade. Workshop Way was an ideal learning environment for a child with my excitement, and I believe was crucial in setting me up for success as a student. I appreciated that SMA enabled me to attend school with my three younger siblings for more years than most families may, with preschool, elementary school, and middle school all encompassed on one campus. Participating in the athletics program helped foster my passion for volleyball, which I continued to play through high school and still enjoy playing recreationally. One of my favorite SMA memories was winning our volleyball championships with my mom as coach. SMA offered an array of opportunities for students to cultivate a variety of interests.

I remember visiting the Getty museum, participating in Mexican dance and theater classes after school, and art classes. I loved the astronomy we learned about at sixth grade camp, and science fair projects we were encouraged to discover.


After graduating from SMA, I attended the Academy of Our Lady of Peace for high school and then UC Berkeley for my undergraduate degree in Integrative Biology. I worked at Cibus, a biotechnology company in San Diego, for a year before coming back to UC Berkeley to obtain my Ph.D. in Metabolic Biology. I am currently a third year in the program and am working in tandem towards obtaining my certification as a Registered Dietician through the university as well. I teach undergraduate nutrition classes, conduct research in a lab on campus, and take classes as part of my program. Other than science, I enjoy being outdoors, hiking, swimming, cooking, yoga, traveling, concerts, and spending time with friends.

I am thankful for how workshop way helped develop my ability to multitask and handle an array of responsibilities, as these skills have been crucial in graduate school. Workshop way has also encouraged me to see the importance to being well rounded in my interests, which has enabled me to maintain passions outside of my education and career. And finally, I am thankful for the way in which workshop way fostered my independence and curiosity.

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